Essay sample - The False Memory Illusion

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In the Brainerd & Wright model of verbal recall illusion semantic differences are arbitrary and corrupt. Forward and backward association of words is dependent upon semantics and not, as claimed, on any genuinely memorable association. Their results, used to argue the illusory nature of false memory, are unreliable because of a false premise: the Deese-Roediger-McDermott false memory illusion…


the lists are a product of free recall. Semantic associations must not be applied in reverse because they are generated using free recall and their only possible scientific application is semantically probabilistic.
Brainerd & Wright mistakenly interpret their higher FAS result scores as a result of suppressive processes used inappropriately "to reject studied items that preserve the gist of experience." (Brainerd & Wright 2005) This mistake has nothing to do with suppressive processes; in fact the rejection of these items is because their semantic association with the previously listed word is weaker and the probability of semantically associating from the first word to the second word should already have been known from the probability score, or the free recall. The priority of words is itself an illusion, not a false memory illusion; for example, each list must start with a word and it must end with another word. It is nonsense to suggest that the word following the first word might in some way be illusory. The semantic association that leads to the last word must take priority over any associative strength, whether forwards or backwards, because the lists are not illusory.
In a free recall exercise, as shown by Deese in his original paper, the first word is given to the subject who produces a second word. ...
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